1950. The newspaper Combat tells how the peasants of Quercy converted to pacifist globalization. Of course they listen to the radio!
1949. Cahors City Council adopts the Globalization Charter and the city renames itself Cahors Mundi. More than two hundred other Lot municipalities will do the same. While we are barely recovering from World War II and its millions of deaths, the capital Lot and its department are engaging in an unprecedented pacifist movement. It is true that the “Cold War” is already threatening. In 1950, the first Route Sans Frontières was inaugurated in Lot. The terminals that materialize it, now regularly restored, are still visible as you walk towards Saint-Cirq Lapopie. What then happens in the department while propelling formidable pioneers amazes and seduces the intellectual environment. You can find the full story of this unprecedented move on the Lotois du Monde website. The national press is also curious.
Ranked on the left, the daily Combat does not hide the fact that they share the enthusiasm of the elected officials and citizens of Lot. Although certain articles sometimes do not avoid clichés … On 18 February 1950, a good part of the last page of the newspaper is devoted to a report which evokes “conversion” to the globalization and pacifism of the peasants of Quercy … Who, of course, live on isolated farms, but who are also faithful listeners to the TSF. It is thanks to the radio that connects them with the world that our farmers have understood how urgent it is to get involved. We reproduce large excerpts below. All this is apparently taking place at a time when the concept of “globalization” had a completely different meaning than today!
The end of a centuries-old feud
“The peasants of Quercy become world citizens by listening to the air of” 3e Man “. From our special correspondent Sylvain ZEGEL. You have to leave Cahors, take a railway carriage to Capdenac, then a freight train to Figeac, to fully understand the reasons why 78% of the inhabitants of Lot chose world citizenship and thus transform a French department to a “globalist” territory.If the Cadurciens were the first to become world citizens, Figeacois was it all proportionately, more likely to do so. By forgetting their political affiliation, neglecting the – sometimes negative – instructions from their parties, 82% of Figeacois have actually voted for “globalization”. » ” We have almost forgotten here the old quarrel, which for centuries has stood against the two cities. Figeac, sub-prefecture, has forgiven Cahors to be the prefecture. And Cahors, Gambetta’s homeland, no longer blames Figeac for being the birthplace of Charles Boyer. The political ceasefire and the end of the hereditary quarrel spawned a pleasant atmosphere in this city, where old houses with pointed windows abound: we. The workers of Ratier, the colored radicals, the “apolitical”, pull themselves together and work side by side with joy as in the maquis, to prepare for “globalization”. » ” This rediscovered device seems incredible at first glance. Yet it is real. It is enough (…) to see how teams of world citizens work, consisting of two men with conflicting opinions. These teams go from farm to farm and collect signatures. After their work, until late at night, these men wade through the mud and try to convince the unsolved or suspicious. Their beliefs are such that most of the time they succeed. I had the chance to participate with one of these teams in the last round, which made it possible to gather the last votes. It was already dark. The gates to the isolated farmhouses only opened after long palaces. We felt cut off from the world. Never did it appear that the door would open, never would these Quercy peasants vote for the “globalization” of their fields. »
Pork bladders and corn cobs
“The door finally opened. We went into the common room. From the rafters hung pig bladders and rows of corn cobs. The young women cooked or did the dishes, while the old ones warmed themselves” au cantou “- by the fireplace. We introduced ourselves. We talked about this and that. Then the reason for this late visit was explained: “We must avoid war … We try a new method … Globalization … If it does not do any good, it will not hurt …” teamthe piers took turns taking the floor. I had to give details, often starting over to explain everything. So, after some hesitation, these Quercy peasants finally gave what they find most difficult to give: their signature. Often the decisions were quick. On a farm, an old farmer declared, “My four brothers died in the 14-year war. My oldest son died in this one. I will be with you until the very end ”. In another, the farmer exclaimed: “I have been deported. I know what it is. I am voting for peace. Wars do not solve anything. »
Amazing, they have the radio!
The most astonishing visit was to this farm, whose owner remarked as soon as he heard the word “war”: “We are all afraid. We are all afraid of a new catastrophe.” And the old woman in the ‘cantou’ who saw approaching his hundredth birthday, no longer interested in anything in this world, suddenly seemed to notice us and declared, ‘But vote, son, so. With this hydrogen bomb that Einstein was talking about, we’re all going to die This scared me. In this isolated yard, far from the road, far from everything, the elder of the household talked about Einstein and the hydrogen bomb. I was asking how she heard about the scholar’s message when I heard the melody from “Third Man “. This melody, which hums as well in Copenhagen, Berlin, on the Champs-Elysées as in the USA, has reached this point. One of the children had just turned the knob on the radio. It was through the radio that the old peasant wife knew what what was going on in the world, she felt in no way isolated.On the contrary, none of human land was fre mmed for him. She felt she was a “citizen of the world,” and even though she had never voted, even though she had always refused to participate in the election of an alternate or a city council member, she voted this time. “Peace is too important to ignore,” she concludes. »
– Source: Gallica-BNF website. Illustration: painting by Henri Martin, “Deleboerhuset in Marquayrol with Madame Henri Martin’s vineyard” around 1920. Private collection.